A. Primitive Dolls
• These dolls dated back c. 25,000 years ago and were made of clay. There was not very much detail in their design, but they were seen as representation of gods.
B. Dolls Across Various Civilizations and Their Uses
• This section will discuss dolls in different civilizations and countries as seen in Egyptian, Japanese, Grecian, Russian, French, English and Chinese cultures.
A. Paper Dolls
• This section discusses paper dolls and the direct inspiration it provided to Ruth Handler (creator of Barbie).
B. Lilli Doll
• This section will discuss the Lilli Doll, a European sexy toy, as a direct antecedent of Barbie.
III. Invention and Selection
A. Historical Background
• This section will discuss the culture of the United States post World War II including the rise of suburbanization, technology, and luxury spending. Special emphasis will be places on the impact of women and girls resulting in the ability for girls to have dreams and ambitions.
B. Conception of Barbie
• This section will focus on the conventional story of Ruth Handler and her dream of Barbie.
C. “Ruth”less Barbie
• This section will focus on Mattel industry and the initial production of Barbie, paying close attention to the controversy over the real inventor of Barbie : Jack Ryan or Ruth Handler.
D. Barbie Wars & Scandals
• This section focus on the lawsuits and scandal surrounding Mattel and Barbie. First scandal addressed will be the lawsuit between Greiner & Hausser and Mattel over the patent rights to the model of the doll in 1961 & 2004. Second scandal will be the indictment of Ruth Handler for falsifying records and her resignation in 1978. Third scandal will be the 2001 rise of the Bratz doll. The last scandal that will be discussed is the 2007 lead paint terror.
• We will use the Bild-Lilli and the Barbie patent obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, US patent # 3009284 and # 2925684.
E. Mattel’s Barbie – Staying Alive
• The last section will explore the reason for Barbie’s success both through constant innovation and marketing strategies.
• We will use the first Barbie commercial to demonstrate the unique Mattel marketing strategies of targeting children.
“1959 First EVER Barbie Commercial.” YouTube. Flash Video File. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8-avPUxyno (accessed Feb 11, 2013).
III. Impact and Controversy
A. Depiction of Female Body
• This section will discuss the controversy over Barbie and the influence of her appearance on young girl and culture. Her unattainable body image has been seen as the cause of many unhealthy habits and mindsets in young girls. It will also discuss how Barbie and her figure have influenced the idea of the “ideal woman”.
B. Real Life Barbies
• This section will talk about the extremes people have gone to attain the unattainable and become a human Barbie (and even Ken) look-a-like. It shows how strong the influence and appeal of Barbie actually is and how much she has contributed to this societal idea of a beautiful woman.
C. The Future of Barbie
• This will discuss Barbie and how she is continuing to develop today and where the company is going with her.